The Folk Festival will let you exercise your taste buds a little more adventurously than you usually do on Brown's Island. Yes, the beer trucks will be there, but so will an Americanized world's worth of culinary treats served canalside by vendors who hope last year's near rain-out won't hurt business again this year. Check these menu highlights along with some vendor suggestions for a year's worth of folk festival calories, all condensed into one mostly tasty weekend.
If you want to eat like you're anywhere but RichmondGo for: The peppered shrimp, alligator and catfish nuggets, crawfish, roti, bratwurst, smoked salmon, bourbon chicken anything but ham biscuits. Oh wait, they have those too.
At: Hammerheads Seafood, Ike's Famous Crabcakes, Smooth's Smokehouse, Rainbow Foods, Oktoberfest Richmond.
If you like food without a faceGo for: Steamed cabbage, collards, yams, African-style veggies and rice, hummus, grape leaves, portobello wraps vegetarians can have a field day. And for dessert: fresh sugar cane!
At: Ma Musu, Seafood City, Nadar's Bistro and Crescent Foods.
If you're a carnival junkieGo for: Funnel cakes, cotton candy, blooming onions, corn dogs, fried Twinkies. This is what they're calling "festival" food, actually in quotes. Shame on you for not trying something you didn't just eat at the State Fair.
At: Tri-City Concessions, Joy and Herb's, Dogs R Us.
If you prefer your lunch (or dinner) liquidGo for: Beer, non-alcoholic pi¤a coladas, smoothies, lemonade. Last year the lines were long. This year expect a better flow, if you get our drift.
At: Smoothilicious, Caribbean Grill and Juices.
If multicultural is your middle name:
Go for: Chinese, African, Jamaican, Indian, Irish, German, Greek and American cuisines make this a mini-international festival of food by folks from distant lands like Florida and Vermont. Bring U.S. dollars.
At: Siri Grille, Ma Musu, Malabar, Gail's Eatery, India K' Raja, Sin é, Oktoberfest Richmond, International Grill Co, Nadar's Bistro.
If you like to eat like there's no tomorrow:Go for: Mac and cheese, cream of crab soup, turkey legs, barbecue, ghetto burgers, crab fritters, German pastries washed down with beer. This is the souvenir that sticks around long after the music fades.
At: Sherri's Fun Foods, Spry's BBQ, Strawberry St. Food, Upscale with a Side of Soul.